Tooth veneering: methods, techniques, stages
The concern for dental and dento-facial aesthetics has increased a lot in recent years, so that every day, patients ask us what they can do to improve the aesthetic appearance of their teeth, to benefit from white, straight and shiny teeth. . There are many solutions in this regard, but often the optimal option is the procedure called "tooth veneering".
What is veneering?
Tooth veneering is a procedure specific to dental aesthetics through which dental veneers are applied to the teeth, solving one or more aesthetic problems, such as:
- color (stained, discolored teeth)
- spacing (teeth with large spaces between them, lathe)
- alignment (crooked teeth)
- shape (broken, chipped teeth)
It should be noted that the veneering of the teeth can be replaced in some cases with other methods specific to aesthetics or orthodontics such as teeth whitening procedures or those of aligning the teeth with the help of braces. So to know for sure that we need veneers in the first phase, a detailed control is indicated.
Ways of realization
There are two ways to make veneers: either directly, at the clinic, or indirectly, with the help of the dental laboratory.
Direct method (the cabinet)
The direct method is made in the clinic / office and is only applicable to composite veneers.
The veneering is performed in the office, manually, by the specialist doctor, without the contribution of the laboratory and the dental technician. This requires a lot of skill and dexterity on the part of the dentist because he has to match or even exceed the aesthetic result obtained through the indirect method.
Indirect method (cabinet & laboratory)
In the indirect method, the dentist collaborates with the technician of the dental technique laboratory to obtain the dental veneers.
The process involves taking the dental impression and using computerized CAD-CAM software, so that in the end the veneers fit the patient perfectly. The most common indirect method is used for ceramic veneers (feldspar, Emax, Lumineers) or zirconium (full zirconium).
How do we choose veneers?
You have probably heard of various types of veneers made of ceramic, zirconium or composite and that you have made an opinion that some would be better, others worse. In reality, things are not like that at all, the choice of dental veneers depending entirely on the particular situation of the teeth, the aesthetic problems you want to solve and last but not least on the budget you have. Each of the materials used in veneering has certain properties (opacity, strength, etc.) that differentiate them and that may or may not be compatible with the teeth to be veneered.
In conclusion, without a specialist consultation, you cannot find out which material would fit your teeth perfectly.
Materials used in veneering teeth
Material that allows a quick veneering and a very low cost, the composite is indicated in the case of teeth abraded (scratched), eroded or that have light colors. The veneering of teeth with composite material can be done by the dentist, either by direct and fast method, or by the indirect one which also involves the technician of the dental technique laboratory.
Porcelain or ceramic is a durable but expensive material, used especially in the case of very colored teeth, broken or eroded, or that have a long distance from each other. Ceramic veneering is done by the indirect method that involves computerized CAD-CAM technology and collaboration between dentist and technician.
Zirconium veneers are made by computer, which means that human error is eliminated from the manufacturing process. Moreover, zirconium gives the advantage of a perfect adaptation to the interface between the tooth and the veneer and the procedure requires a lower dental sacrifice than the all-ceramic veneers.
In veneering teeth there are two preparation techniques: non-invasive, called No Prep and minimally invasive. Of course, it is preferable that the chosen technique be the one that does not involve the sacrifice of dental substance or the one that involves the smallest possible dental sacrifice.
No Prep, without sanding (non-invasive)
"No prep" veneers, as the name implies, are veneers that do not require preparation, ie grinding the tooth. Basically, the veneer is applied directly to the tooth by cementing, without polishing its enamel.
With minimally invasive grinding
Apart from the No Prep veneers, all the other veneers involve grinding the teeth as follows: 0.3 - 0.8 mm in depth, respectively up to 1.5 mm in height. The doctor's first goal is to grind the tooth as little as possible (minimally invasive), without affecting the dentin layer that is immediately under the enamel.
Regardless of the type of veneers you opt for, they involve 3 stages, except for the "No Prep" veneers which are made in just 2 sessions.
Stage 1: Consultation
The first stage in the planning of the dental veneer is represented by the consultation and obligatorily, by the realization of a panoramic radiography. Also during the consultation, a set of intraoral and extraoral pictures is made, which are later used in the 3D software. Then an initial impression of the teeth is taken in order to be able to shape the future veneers. Thus, a direct simulation of the future teeth is made from a temporary acrylate material.
Stage 2: Tooth impression
In the second stage, from the laboratory, the technician sends the model of the teeth to the patient with the wax veneers, so that the patient has a first vision about his future teeth. Along with the model, it also sends a conformer in which an aesthetic material is introduced that will achieve in the patient's mouth what he sees on the model.
Also at this stage, the teeth are polished (if necessary) and the impression for the future veneers.
Step 3: Cementing the veneers
The last session is a test. If everything is fine, ie if the veneers meet the requirements of size, color and shape, they will be definitively cemented.